Road safety campaign sparks social media debate about horse riding accidents

Horse riding on the road

Much debate has been sparked on social media following the campaign Dead? Or Dead Slow? by the British Horse Society (BHS).

BHS national campaign was launched to raise the awareness among drivers about the speed and distance that they should take into consideration when they encounter a horse and rider on the road. The campaign aims to reduce the number of accidents on the road.

Often the questions being raised on social media relate to what you should do if you are involved in a road traffic accident when out riding your horse on the road.

To help horse riders understand the law surrounding an accident on the road, we have put together some information on what you should do in these situations.

We also look at what you can claim compensation for if you and your horse have been injured in an accident whilst riding in Scotland.

What you should do immediately after a horse riding accident on the road

Use your mobile to call emergency services and take photos of the accident scene

  • It goes without saying that in the first instance if someone is seriously injured in a road accident, call 999 for help.
  • We would always recommend calling the police using the 101 number and reporting the accident, even in cases where the driver does not stop.
  • If you can, take a photo of the vehicle involved in the accident before it is moved or drives away but always note the registration of the vehicle as well.
  • Take photos of any dents on the vehicle caused by an impact
  • Take photos of the accident scene. This will help personal injury solicitors demonstrate, for example, that there was no room on the verge of the edge of the road for you to get out of the way; perhaps there was a narrow bridge and the driver should have stopped to allow space.
  • Take photos of any injuries sustained to either you or your horse.

It is not sufficient if the driver apologies and admits liability at the scene – the more information you have, the stronger your case for liability and compensation.

Collect contact details of the driver and any witnesses

  • Get the name and address of the driver. If they refuse to give you this, it is possible for personal injury solicitors to identify their insurers through the registration number.
  • Check to see if there are any witnesses such as other drivers or passers-by and get their contact details including name, address and phone numbers.
  • If you are riding with someone else, make sure you have their contact details as well.

Seek medical attention and legal help after the horse riding accident on the road

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Either visit your GP or go to your local Accident and Emergency unit.
  • Get the Vet to your horse as soon as possible to treat any injuries they have sustained.
  • Contact a personal injury solicitor that specialises in horse riding accident claims.

Record all financial losses from the road traffic accident

Keep a record of any financial outlays or losses you have had suffered as a result of the road traffic accident such as:

  • Vets bills
  • Replacement riding hat
  • Damaged riding clothing and boots
  • Damage to tack and cost of replacement

If you have to take time off work and suffered loss of earnings as the result of being involved in a horse accident you can pursue compensation for these losses. To help prove any losses, please retain your wage slips.

Why do personal injury solicitors need all this information?

For a personal injury claim to be successful you have to prove that on the balance of probabilities, not only were the third party negligent, but that this negligence caused the accident and resulted in losses which you should be compensated for.

The more information you can provide to personal injury solicitors, the more chance they have of helping you establish your case.

The circumstances of every accident are different and each personal injury claim has its own complexities.

If you are making a claim after a horse riding accident, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice from a specialist horse accident solicitor as soon as possible.

What is the process of a horse riding claim?

Personal injury solicitors that you appoint to represent you in your claim will investigate who was liable for the road accident.

Contacting witnesses to establish liability

This will involve contacting any witnesses that have been identified and taking statements from them as soon as possible after the accident.

Police report to confirm other vehicle is insured

From here, personal injury solicitors should also obtain a police report, if one has been prepared. This will confirm the third party vehicle insurance details and will also give the names of the officers who attended for future reference if required.

Raise horse claim to determine stance on liability

A horse riding accident claim to the third party insurers will be raised and your solicitors await their position on liability.

Medical evidence and any other necessary evidence collected

If liability is accepted by the third party insurers, medical evidence should then be collected to assist with the valuation of your injuries from the accident. Other evidence may be required to value your other financial losses.

It will also be necessary to speak to your vet to assess any injury to your horse.

Investigate if liability is denied

If liability is denied by the third party insurers, personal injury solicitors should consider the reasons given for this and consider if further investigation is required.

At this point, they should give you their opinion on the merits of your case.

What if the driver is untraced or has no car insurance?

In order to recover any compensation for personal injury there has to be an identifiable defender who is found to be at fault.

Sometimes the driver may leave the scene and you may not have been able to get their registration number or it may be discovered that the driver was uninsured.

Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) for uninsured driver claims

In these situations it is still possible to make a claim through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB).

The MIB exists to compensate victims of negligent drivers who were either untraced or uninsured. In these situations you should contact personal injury solicitors with expertise in this type of claim as soon as possible.

Digby Brown’s expertise in horse accident claims

Equine Law is a complex area of law and there is a great deal of confusion with regards to whether you have a claim if you are involved in an accident when riding your horse.

Our specialist solicitors in horse accident claims recently acted for a lady who was told she had no case for a personal injury claim by a well-established Edinburgh firm of Solicitors.

After she came to Digby Brown our expert equine lawyers successfully settled her personal injury claim for £22,000.

If you are involved in an accident and been injured whilst riding you horse you should seek the advice of a specialist equine lawyer as soon as possible.

You can contact our legal team on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our legal team will be in touch shortly.